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Relief expected from record gasoline prices

Updated: February 4, 2013 2:46PM



Pain at the pump was its most severe ever in the Chicago area and nationally in 2012, but some relief is expected this year.

The price of unleaded regular in the Chicago area averaged $3.91 a gallon in 2012 — 12 cents a gallon higher than the previous record of $3.79 a gallon set in 2011, according to AAA. For three of the past five years, the average has hit a record. In 2008, the price averaged what was then a record high of $3.45 a gallon, the motor club said.

Nationally, the average was $3.60 a gallon. That surpassed the previous record highs of $3.51 in 2011 and $3.25 in 2008.

Gas prices were driven higher this year by hurricanes, Midwest refinery outages, and tensions in the Middle East, AAA said.

While gas prices are expected to remain elevated in 2013, AAA isn’t forecasting record-setting prices.

“AAA expects gas prices in 2013 will be less than 2012 as a result of decreased demand and increased supplies,” said AAA spokesman Michael Green.

On Monday, unleaded regular gas in the Chicago area averaged just over $3.42 a gallon, nearly 8 cents less than a year earlier and roughly 17 cents less than a month earlier.

Unleaded regular gas averaged $3.29 a gallon nationally, up nearly 2 cents from a year earlier and down roughly 10 cents from a month earlier.



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